Wetlands are a critical and valued component of boreal landscapes in northeastern Alberta, and they comprise a significant proportion of operational tenures within the in-situ oil sands region. While companies have made progress on avoidance and mitigation strategies to reduce their impacts to wetlands, they also face many common challenges, including pad, road, and culvert settlement; culvert bowing and failure; and tree mortality or other vegetation changes in wetlands adjacent to roads. This
document compiles a toolbox of shared practices currently in use by COSIA companies, or which have been used but were found to be unsuccessful.
The main focus of this report is to provide recommendations regarding what parameters could be measured in the field to assess the environmental and structural performance of wetland crossings. A secondary focus of the report is to make general recommendations for structuring a potential monitoring program, including factors such as frequency/timing of monitoring, personnel/training considerations, and reporting and data management. To collect the information required to make these recommendations, we completed a literature review, six interviews with reosurce extraction companies and regulatory agencies, and field tours of two forestry companies' wetland crossings.